Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sentimental Journey to IOWA

Reminiscing about our trip to IOWA in 1970. Alas it was the only trip our family took away from California. We went to see my husbands' family. PENTICO, JIPP, NANKE and other related names. Whoopee MOM P's neighbor was a HOFFMAN and belonged to my family.
She never discussed the last names of people in letters so it was a real surprise.
(Here I will digress: I learned last year that my WARDEN Ancestors graveyard was right down road from where we were. Thankfully a sister in law went and took pictures.)

Having written and talked to husbands' family and having met his older sister Mary and his parents I was more than thrilled over the trip. Grinning, If I had not planned it we probably would not have gone.

Husband was over seas on a carrier it was during the Vietnam War. He was supposed to be home but a plane went in the drink in area off Australia and he & other men and a plane from North Island was sent to replace it and the men. We had just returned from living 3 years plus in Hawaii. We were extended then shortened so much it was a dizzy time.

My children had not seen their Grandparents since we lived at NAS Lemoore and they had come to visit us when corn and soybean season was done in the early 60's.

So they were really babes (boys) at those visits and we only had two then. We had added a daughter and then another daughter so it was time to bring the Grandparents up to speed.

Mary moved to California in the early 60's and we saw her as often as we could when we were in NAS Lemoore & Coronado. We were shipped to Coronado for duty then we went to HI.

So it was time to visit the in laws. We saw my parents whom lived in California about every 3 months or more often depending on parents needs.

So he arrived home from the Coral Sea and was presented with tickets to fly to his home and see family. He was granted the leave they had previously removed and we flew
to Los Angeles to fly to Des Moines.

We rented a car and drove north to see his parents and other siblings in Iowa area of
Woodward, Perry, Ames, {Newton (se of Des Moines)}, had hoped to go to Monroe Co and over to Blackhawk Co. to find family but we were so busy with his family we never got that far.

We met his living Uncles and Aunts, many cousins and as I said a distant cousin of mine. :>) I was so lucky. We talked of his missing Grandfather.

The children had a great time looking at the Pigs in the barns and the soy bean fields and corn. The older children walked the fields with their Grandfather. They helped when they were working the corn and other farm chores. The youngest daughter was not yet a year old so she has no recollection of the visit. The youngest son not yet born. They helped the Grandmother in the large garden and in the kitchen by setting the table and doing the things asked to help them. They all seemed to have a great time and experienced things that would probably not happen again often or ever.

Dad P had some cows that were milked and Mom P had chickens she fed and sold the eggs for her bread and butter money. It was when Pearl H came to buy eggs I got to meet her and then she had her husband come so I could meet the real cousin later that evening.

We drove to Newton to see his Aunt and over to Ames to see where Mary had lived, we went to Boone where his little sister lived. We met her girls and had a great couple of visits with them also. His brother lived in Perry and still does as do most of his brothers children.

We visited with his Uncle Walter who had served during the WAR and was amazed to learn when they had returned from the war, they did not keep track of what the USA was doing in a manner the people on the West coast did. Maybe because I was always told we had to be vigilant in case we were attacked from the ocean. The key things that mattered to them were their crops and their animals and then family. Of course that makes sense. The crops were their lively hood. The animals supplemented the crops especially when the weather did not cooperate to give them good bounty at the end of the season.

WOOOOO be a Hail storm come the week of harvest or heavy rain and mold set in before fields dry enough to harvest. Or the sun would bake the ground and they were not set up to water like major farms do today.

One of the things that fascinated me was the way DAD P raised his hogs. My o My they had hot running water in their pens. I remember I carried the water in buckets to our pigs. I raised pigs to get through high school and milked cows by hand then machine.
I finally got brave enough to ask DAD P why the hot water and he said," because in the winter at 10- they would have had no water at all and it helped to heat and keep the barn warm enough for them to survive over the winter." In the winter there, the hogs were kept inside. He had a nice area for a sow to have her young in, all separate from the other hogs. It was a very large barn like the one that sets on my parents land but it was not used for that. Size was about the same though.

Dad had a silo and a hay barn and storage for machinery. Some Machinery they shared with neighbors so no one family was out for the entire costs. It was a lot like the
hay crews I worked on in my area of northern California. We would go from farm to farm to harvest until the farms were done. The same applied to Iowa and MOM P would make a large meal if they were working on their place same as we did. Sometimes she would make and pack up things for DAD P to take to the other farmers if a family member was ill or injured.

Our boys rode and drove the tractor. Candy liked to work the back of the system when they were doing harvesting in the yard. I have a picture of her standing there and of boys doing the tractor.

Alas after we came home MOM P called and said they were going to sell the farm and come to California. So we did not get to go back again and do the fun things they did . Even if it was a few years before they succeeded in making the journey west. Fred was over seas a lot then and they were here before he retired.

Dad P did take the boys to the BOY SCOUT CAMP he worked and they got to see it and tour the grounds since they were both Scouts.

We went over to THE LEDGES and to see the train that ran way up in the sky across a valley. That was the highest and longest tressell I had ever seen Kate Session's ? something bridge. (We had a Tressell at home that was across the Astero Creek that brought in food and people to the area my parents moved to prior to our living there.)

It was thrilling to have MOM and DAD P move to California and we did not have to worry about them out in the hard cold winters once they had gotten to the age we now are :>). Then we just went to Riverside to visit them ever other month.

They are both gone now. I think of them so often and I am sure my husband and children do also. Mom P lived in the end, with us so even the grandchildren of ours got to know her. Yup all 10 of them got to do that. That in itself was a real treat.

O yes, IOWA fed us so well, we took 4 days and went to Omaha to see Hawaiian friends and get so we could button our pants again. NO KIDDING. Some of the fun things we did was run to Lincoln so the children would have seen the capital while there.

1 comment:

  1. I think in Nebraska there were three terms used for meals on the farm: lunch, dinner and supper. I never lived on a farm so I'm not sure exactly how they were applied. I believe you ate lunch at mid-day, unless there were men there to help with the harvest. Then the women served dinner instead of lunch. And that night you ate supper instead of dinner. Am I right?